Community's grief after fire kills at least 23 at Malaysia boarding school

Geneva Matthews
September 15, 2017

At least 23 people were killed in a fire at a religious school in the Malaysian capital on Thursday, officials said. The school is located in a three-storey building in the central Kuala Lumpur. "I opened the window to my house and I could see the school on fire - they cried for help but I couldn't do anything".

Firefighters contained the fire within an hour but not before it claimed over 20 lives.

Seven injured students were also taken to hospital and 11 were rescued, Al Jazeera reported.

Nearby resident Nurhayati Abdul Halim told local media she saw the boys crying and screaming for help when the fire broke out.

Local officials had initially announced the death of 25 people, but the police have revised the balance sheet at 24: 22 students and two teachers. The bodies of two school teachers were also found next to them. Officials say that this is the worst fire disaster to strike the country in two decades.

The school, Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, is a private Islamic center, known as a "tahfiz" school, for Muslim children, mainly boys, to study and memorize the Quran. "They could have died due to smoke inhalation or got trapped in the fire", he added.

The fire started in one of the bedrooms on the third floor of the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre in Kuala Lumpur, shortly before 6am. He said the cause was believed to be an electrical short-circuit, though Singh said the investigation was continuing.

They are unregulated by the education ministry, being the responsibility of the religious department.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has expressed his sympathies to the families of the victims and tweeted that the matter will be investigated quickly "so that we will be able to prevent future disasters".

"Before 6 o'clock, the firemen came but I think numerous people already died inside because of the smoke", Ahmad said.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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